Whitehall-Coplay Press

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Playoffs next for field hockey team Playoffs next for field hockey team

Playoffs next for field hockey team

Thursday, October 12, 2017 by Steve andres Special to the Press in Sports

The Whitehall field hockey team’s gritty win against Moravian Academy most likely punched their ticket to a postseason berth, keeping them in the mix for a shot at a district title.

Their latest win puts them on target for a district playoff spot as it lifts their overall record to 8-7-1 with two games remaining. Barring anything unforeseen happening, they should win at least one more of those games ensuring their D-11 appearance.

They prevailed over the Lions in overtime with Caitlyn Cunningham scoring the game winner on a penalty stroke. They also got goals from Emily Wells, Kassidy Cunningham and Kate Bonshak for the 4-3 victory.

Moravian has always been a tough match for the Zephyrs. They came into the game with an 11-2 record which placed them in second place behind Bangor in the Colonial League. Head coach Jennifer Bodnar said that the team came into last Saturday’s game with the mindset of nailing down the victory so their district hopes wouldn’t boil down to a must-win against Northampton.

They struck first as Emily Wells got them on the board with an early goal. Bodnar said that getting an early lead helped them build confidence.

Still, the Lions knotted the score at 1-1 when Cassie Romanczuk found the back of the cage. Bodnar said that it went back and forth until the Lions tied the game with about two minutes remaining.

She said that could have been devastating, but they rallied around one another with the attitude that they weren’t going to let this one slip away.

Once the overtime began, the Zephyrs stayed aggressive and dominated the action.

“Throughout the overtime, we were able to get a lot of shots and pressure which caused us to get that penalty stroke,” said Bodnar.

All that effort in the offensive zone resulted in a penalty stroke which Caitlyn Cunningham parked home to give them the hard-earned victory.

Bodnar said that the win demonstrated their desire to win the game and not allow any obstacles to get in their way.

“I was proud that they never gave up,” said Bodnar. “They were relentless.”

Bodnar also liked the way their offense performed. She said at times this season they may have been too unselfish. They were always looking for that perfect pass to set up a teammate for a goal. Against Moravian, the mindset was to shoot the ball at the net as often as possible. They finished the game with 11 shots.

“I was happy that we were able to put the ball in the cage,” said Bodner. “Before we kept passing up opportunities to shoot, but we shot it [against Moravian] when those opportunities arose.”

Bodnar also said that they played well defensively throughout the game. Goalkeeper Logan Bortz finished the game with six saves, providing a strong anchor to the back line.

She said that the win shows what can happen when everyone pulls together for a common goal.

“It was truly a team effort,” said Bodnar.